SANTA ANA — Two men pleaded guilty Tuesday and were immediately sentenced to more than 100 hours of community service for a hate crime in Rancho Santa Margarita against an Army veteran three years ago.
Nicholas Lloyd Reynolds, 23, and Coty Nebenzahl, 23, both pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violation of civil rights with violent injury, according to court records.
The two were at a McDonald’s restaurant at 30672 Santa Margarita Parkway on April 12, 2018, when they got into a verbal altercation with the victim, according to court records.
Reynolds hollered a racist epithet for Blacks even though the victim was of Middle Eastern heritage and also spit at him, according to court records.
At first when the two drove by, the victim, who was wearing an Army shirt and hat, thought the defendants were being friendly, but instead they yelled racial epithets and an expletive regarding the U.S. Army, according to court records. When the victim said he was not Black they told him to “go back” to an Arabic country, according to court records.
Reynolds was placed on one year of formal probation and sentenced to 150 hours of community service. Nebenzahl was sentenced to 140 hours of community service and 10 days of Caltrans work.
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